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Physical, Mental, And Social Health Essay

1895 words - 8 pages

Health is a condition of optimal well being. Being healthy includes being in a state of physical, mental and social well being. I have been exposed to the healthy and the unhealthy in all three areas. Growing up I had two younger brothers with chronic illnesses. Chronic illness is a recurrent illness or disease with periods of exacerbation and remission. One of my brothers was extremely ill with a chronic kidney disease and on several occasions received Last Rites. My youngest brother acquired a staph infection in both of his eyes; tear ducts and tears glands when he was a new born. I was the oldest of four children so shared in the responsibility for all three of my brothers. In addition to that, my grandmother came to live with us and we became roommates. My grandmother was a diabetic, controlled with diet and oral medication and had a standing appointment with the podiatrist monthly for routine foot care. I accompanied her most often and what a nice time we would have. On our return trip home the taxi cab driver would drop us off just a few blocks from the house. We would window shop, pick up Mum’s medicine and then stop for lunch. I always ordered a chopped steak, French fries with gravy and a frosty root beer to drink. Sometimes we would treat ourselves to a quarter pound of whole cashews and eat those as we walked the last steps home. It seems strange that I remember exactly what I would order for lunch on those trips, but the memories are still very vivid.
My mothers work as a nurse in a long term care facility certainly gave me an awareness of aging not necessarily experienced by my friends. I spent many weekend nights with her at the job and learned what it meant to truly care about strangers. Strangers in the sense that they were not related. Some of these aging women in the facility had no family or friends, and no visitors because they had outlived spouses and cohorts. These women only had the nursing staff for company and that nursing staff went above and beyond the call of duty in caring for their patients. In many instances the nurses assumed the role of a family member and remembered birthdays and celebrated holidays with their resident patients. I think this exposure to the chronic and acute illnesses in my family home and the long term care facility created my interest in the medical field. I believe my youthful relationships with older relatives and neighbor’s is very significant in my interest in gerontology.
As a young adult one of my best friends was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, consequently I became involved with the MS Society and held the title of Miss Pat’s first assistant. It was a title I held out of love and respect for a dear friend. Over the years I assisted her through some of life’s trials and eventually helped her to find an apartment. Together we sought out community service organizations to provide construction rehab for the apartment at no cost to the home owner. I was...

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